Whenever I go to a new hairstylist, I immediately size up their personal coif. If I like what they’ve got going on up there, I’m immediately more comfortable. I’m not really sure why (it’s not like they’re cutting their own hair), but it just does. Same goes for a new fitness instructor. When a teacher is in killer shape, I trust them. I’ll hang on every motivational word they say. I’ll follow them on Instagram if they have one. I’ll also let them destroy me (in a good way) on a Monday night, which is exactly what happened at my first Barre22 class with Cristin Caulfield at ZYN22’s freshly opened studio on Oak Lawn Avenue.
Before we talk about Barre22, we need to talk about Caulfield. The Highland Park alum has an impressive resume, including a stint as a Dallas Mavs dancer and assistant choreographer for a number of Gwen Stefani and Britney Spears tours. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it forever: If she’s good enough for Britney, she’s certainly good enough for me.
Now back to the review.
The Class: ZYN22 (formerly a spin studio exclusively) debuted their new 45-minute barre class with the opening of their Uptown location.
The Appeal: ZYN22 has garnered a loyal following (the classes are almost always packed), and Caulfield is one of the most popular instructors. She developed Barre22 to be a higher-energy alternative to a normal barre class.
What to Wear: If you have those cool socks with the grippy things on the bottom (if they have an actual name, feel free to educate me in the comments), those would work great. Bare feet and yoga clothes work perfectly fine.
How It Went: We got to work immediately on our legs and glutes, moving our way up to abs, and arms as the class moved swiftly on. We mostly stayed on personal floor mats with weights and a resistance band, but we did head to the bar for a bit. I haven’t been to a barre class in a while, but this was certainly a quicker pace than what I remember, and incredibly challenging. Caulfield kept us moving through the motions quickly, and for few fleeting moments, we could almost have passed for Britney backup dancers. Almost.
The Aftermath: I knew within the first ten minutes my legs were going to be toast for days. I was right.
Liked: I’m a big fan of ZYN22’s spin classes for cardio, but what it lacks in the sculpting and toning department, Barre22 more than compensates for, making it the perfect companion class. Though I would highly suggest moving from a spin class to a barre class if you do one right after the other. My Jello legs would not have served me well on a bike after my time with Caulfield.
Disliked: I know that barre classes are based off of dance principals, and do not ensure any Britney-style choreography, but Caulfield offered us several moments to loosen up and move our hips around. Maybe it was just the Monday afternoon of it all, but no one took her up on it, which meant I (pear pressure prone that I am) didn’t either. A little booty shaking would have definitely distracted me from the shakiness of my Jello legs.
Difficulty Level: It was tough but fun, and several of us agreed that if anything was going to transform our bodies, that was it. So, if you’re looking to only take one workout class a month, Barre22 could probably tone you more than most.